Finished goal of running the distance of 2,080 miles from Lafayette, LA to Washington D.C and back!!! 339.1 miles

0.0 miles run this week.
Daily running average for the week is 0.00 miles per day.
Total amount run in the past 800 days is 2,419.1 miles.
Daily running average overall is 3.02 miles per day.

Day234 Wednesday 04/20/11

ran 1.4 miles

“Carmen Elise Sanders?”

Jonas hadn’t felt this confounded since 2002 when he first saw a television commercial for a prescription drug that claimed to remedy anxiety even though one could contract outrageous side effects such as infection, injury, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, constipation, decreased appetite, sleepiness, dizziness, sexual side effects, nervousness, tremor, yawning, sweating, abnormal vision, weakness, and insomnia. Furthermore, in the event that one was a teenager, which was a very loose term, one should also watch out for increased suicidal thoughts or actions, severe changes in mood or behavior (example: being anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyper active, overly excited, or not being able to sleep). Finally, abruptly stopping the medication can result in dizziness, sensory disturbances, electric shock sensations and tinnitus, abnormal dreams, agitation, anxiety, nausea, sweating, mood fluctuations, headache, fatigue, nervousness, and sleep disorders. May also be present in breast milk so tell your doctor if you are nursing.

Once again, Jonas was nearly speechless. Carmen was the first and only girl he had ever cared about. She was his first kiss and the closest he had ever come to being in love. They had spent their time rediscovering the stars together at night and had made their own constellations. Under a blurry cotton-balled sky they spent their days together talking about how they were going to change the world. She was going to be his queen and he was going to be her king.

They had been together for two years before losing their virginity to one another at an obscured echo point within the heavily wooded property of a Natural History Museum. A bricked path had led to a small cul-de-sac whereupon people could stand in the center and create rhythmic waves of sound with their voices. It was on the dark, grassy earth behind a bench lining the circumference of the bricked echo circle that Jonas and Carmen decided to break up and then unexpectedly made love like two awkward and disoriented uncommon species.

The one thing that was supposed to be a final bridge to their commitment to one another ended up being an undermining act against everything television, their parents, and society attempted to convince them of for their entire lives. They felt deceived and victimized for being born into a societal epoch of lowered expectations where everyone around them was already so convinced that the shackles on their wrists were lifeblood and that the routines they performed daily were actually as meaningful as they thought. In the name of everything that was wrong with the world, they sexually rebelled and never spoke again, until now.

That was a long, young time ago and neither Jonas nor Carmen could fully understand the extent of their actions during that time. However, the act they had made was a powerful statement of why youth was increasingly waking up and acting out. They could not put their fingers on what the problem was but they knew something was wrong with the world each day as they woke up.

The media was a poisonous mushroom of lies that looked appealing to any starving consumer of misinformation. Through whatever medium news was broadcasted its sole purpose was to scare the consumer nearly to death, regardless of age, and to control that person with fear. Teachers were scolding and condescending toward twelve-year-old boys and girls in an attempt to purge through humiliation their child-like natures in order to hasten the process of dying into an adult, only to justify their own misunderstood existences. Parents spent little to no time with their children expecting that televisions and computers would rear them properly, and then wondered why they were all of a sudden pubescent and simultaneously pregnant or arrested. The media, teachers, parents and many others, never once suspecting that they had anything to do with the problem, had convinced themselves that everything was alright by telling their poor, misled children and future generations a certain few words of encouragement.

“Welcome to the real world. It only gets better from here.”

Their sarcastic tone of voice, their condescension, their having given up on themselves, their pessimism, and their wish to simply roll over was an inappropriate disaster that they had no right to impress upon the young, sponge-like minds that would be their future.

It appeared that Carmen had turned over to the other side and became exactly what the system desired her to be, weak and powerless. Jonas had to admit that the chances of him running in to her today, under these circumstances, were astronomically incalculable. He was at a complete loss of not only what to say but how to react in any physical or emotional aspect, whatsoever.

It was as though a mighty fist had grabbed Jonas by the spine and squeezed with such paralyzing force that he could not twitch a toe or blink an eye. The other fist of irony had squeezed Carmen into paralysis, as well, allowing only a lone tear to slowly flow down her soft, delicate misguided face.

There was an emotional stupor and a physical silence that briefly demanded their pebble of the universe to stand still. For a moment they both traveled back in time and grinned inwardly. Jonas remembered her shy smile and how she would blush when he’d tell her she was beautiful. He remembered her strength and all the goals she’d had. Carmen remembered the night at the echo point with Jonas and how innocent he was. She remembered being certain that Jonas was the best man she would ever find. Carmen remembered how good Jonas once made her feel.

And then it was over.

Carmen rubbed her eyes dry and Jonas wiped the surprise off his face. All of a sudden, as though a defense mechanism had clicked, like a safety pressed on a gun, they both pretended to not know each other. It was easily the most awkward position either of them had ever been in.

They were now in a standoff to outdo one another with indifference.

Carmen went right back into character and Jonas reclaimed his mission to find a light. With a fair amount of melodramatic sass, Carmen reached into her purse and put on a set of dark sunglasses to avoid eye contact with Jonas.

“Do you want to follow me?”

Jonas was still tangled in the ether of impossibility that this was really happening. He had worshipped and hung upon every single breath this girl had taken for two years and now she was a prostitute offering herself to him for thirty bucks.

“There’s a spot in the alley behind Ike’s.” She ran her fingers along his arm smiling in denial.

Out of options and at a gross loss of ideas, Jonas played into the act like a giant wooden dummy with the hand of an impatient, heartless ventriloquist forming his words.

Jonas turned down her advances, grabbed her roaming hands, and looked her right in the eyes. Through her gawky, tinted sunglasses he penetrated her with a glance of deference until he knew she understood that he was not going to bite into a rotten apple.

“I’m sure your shorts are full of sugar but I’m just looking for a Bic or a match. That bump on the road over there may be dead and you are the only other person around. Got a light?”

With an understood amount of attitude Carmen lit up one of her own cigarettes and handed it to Jonas. As he reached for it she broke it in half between her fingers and let it fall to the ground. He had expected no less of a reaction. Jonas picked up the lit end off the cold, damp concrete and ignited his own cigarette with it. They exchanged a confused and meaningless look at one another.

Things were not always like this.

1,396.0 miles to go.

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